What We Can Takeaway From Uber (Beyond The Controversy)

One of the most divided hot button topics of late has been the controversy surrounding Uber. Here in Calgary Uber has been banned, awaiting new regulations that are to be presented in February. Taxi companies are (rightfully) fearful of what the new technology means for their industry, because on the surface clients are having a much better user experience using Uber’s app to find a ride than the usual flag on the street method. But regardless of all this chaos, whether you are for or against Uber’s business model, one thing that can’t be overlooked is the usefulness of the technology behind the controversial company’s app.

With Canada Post’s eminent axing of home delivery service, one can only assume door to door delivery will soon be taken over by other companies. And with online shopping becoming bigger than ever, package delivery could take on a new form that has never been seen. Give it some thought; does it make sense to have dedicated drivers work an 8 hour day, 5 days a week, when it could be a supply and demand service through an easily accessible and high functioning app?

What about that pizza delivery guy who goes through periods of overwhelming demand, down to zero requests during off hours? Wouldn’t it make more sense for restaurants to outsource deliveries to drivers waiting to accept a job? It would eliminate paying someone when their service wasn’t needed, and maybe more importantly, stop long waits for customers during periods of high volume. It would also give customers a more convenient way of paying, and better knowledge of their expected delivery time.

The possibilities are so vast with an outsourcing delivery/service app using the Uber model. In fact it could go way beyond deliveries with the right mind behind it. Here are just a few of the features from Uber’s app model that could be utilized by many businesses:

Mobility

Having your service be in the hands of your customers at any time is as convenient as it gets. With the tap of a button and some basic information, getting what you want when you want it has never been easier. Having a service on call at your demand, with the capabilities to track and pay so the customer always feels connected is so simple, it’s brilliant.

Utilizing GPS

Watching your delivery happen eliminates any guesswork about arrival time. Your customer knows when they can expect whatever they are getting, and your driver knows their route is being watched. This creates accountability and accessibility.

Payment Estimation Based On Destination

Yes, it rhymes. But the really cool part about this feature is that with a simple start and end location entered in you can provide a pretty decent estimate to your customer about how much whatever they need will cost to get to them. It eliminates unknown expenses, and raises a red flag when something is way off budget.

Linking Payment

Is there anything more frustrating than being expected to have paper money in today’s cashless obsessed society? Having a linked credit card (or PayPal etc) to your app is the ultimate in convenience for any customer. It even eliminates having to pull the card out and pay the driver, or the frustration of tipping when you don’t have change. Going cashless also means a safer work environment for drivers, as they don’t have to be carrying large amounts of money around, and it creates a gap between them and your company’s finances.

Receipt Sent Electronically

Sometimes you need to have a copy of your transaction. Often times customers refuse a receipt only to wish they had one later because of unforeseen issues. With an app utilizing something similar to Uber’s model you never have to worry because a copy of every transaction is sent to the customer’s email. And think of the paper savings!

Optimization For Service Providers

No need for 3rd party direction services, or GPS units. Drivers can utilize the same directions in app that the customer sees. It connects the client and service provider, and keeps the driver on track. Also, an on demand system prevents burnout and mistakes, as they only accept jobs when they are able to. They don’t have to remember many tasks at once –  it is literally supply and demand.

Better technology will create better service for people, and Uber is proving that. Taxi companies around the country are scrambling to create competing apps, and so they should. In a way the taxi industry is lucky that Uber has come along and caused so much controversy, because they now have the time to respond if they act quickly.

In reality there are so many industries that are just plugging along, unaware of the threat the business that hasn’t even been thought of yet will have on their profits. If you want to be ahead of the curve, a leader in your industry, you best start thinking like Uber, and less like the people afraid of them.